2013 Annual Black Excellence Awards Minority Business honorees Rodney and Bettie Wesley

March 15, 2013


Rodney and Bettie Wesley

Rodney and Bettie Wesley

Wesley Insurance Agency Rodney and Bettie Wesley have been in the insurance business for many years. Rodney Wesley started working in the insurance industry in 1978 shortly after graduating from Hamilton High School. Bettie Wesley graduated from North Division High School. She began her career in the insurance industry in 1975. Rodney and Bettie both attended Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1987, and they took various insurance courses through Milwaukee Insurance Company and Wisconsin Agent Licensing. Both Rodney and Bettie Wesley are fully licensed insurance agents and have worked for over 48 combined years in the insurance industry.

Wesley Insurance Agency is the largest Black-owned independent insurance agency in the Milwaukee metropolitan area in regards to sales volume. The ideal location for the insurance agency was found in the Center Street area. Their agency is located at 5600 W. Center Street and has been there since 1988. After being in business for several years they were able to purchase the building from the Local 61 Union.

The Wesleys adhered to using grassroots methods and word-of-mouth to gain clients for their young business and even though there were competitive prices out there, the Wesleys managed to stay afloat. In the beginning their business, like so many others, was on a very tight budget for several years. Due to having good money management skills, diligence, perseverance and having paid off the mortgage to their building, they now have room to breathe.

Rodney and Bettie have been married for 28 years. They first met during their employment at the Milwaukee Insurance Company and four years later they were married. They are a spiritual couple who are active members of Christ the King Church. Rodney is a faithful servant, as leader of the Senior Usher Ministry; and Bettie is the Mission Ministry’s leader there.

As a mission leader, Bettie does a lot of volunteer work. She participates in clothing and food drives and nursing home visits. The church has adopted a family from Somalia to support and have also adopted Auer Avenue School for which they donate school supplies, hats, gloves and other things as needed. The team also works at the Salvation Army and they plan to work with the Habitat for Humanity in the summer of 2013. Bettie has also done mission work in Kenya.

Rodney was born and raised in Milwaukee and Bettie was born in California, but lived in Louisiana for a while before coming to Milwaukee. They are proud parents of five adult children; all but one live out of state and two are following their parents’ footsteps as entrepreneurs themselves.